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Old 11-14-2019, 03:58 AM   #1
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Question I've acquired a 1989 Tioga! Thoughts?

Hello, everyone!

I'm new to these forums.

I have acquired a 1989 Tioga c class RV, 26', Ford Econline, and I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this model, before I use it? Does anyone else have one? Should I keep it?

I've tried looking for information on the engine, and ease of servicing it, but haven't found anything.

It is well maintained, and was kept in a garage, when not in use. It's clean, and cared-for, but I have never possessed an RV. I could use some insight!

Thank you!
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:42 AM   #2
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Location: MA
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Wow and welcome the learning curve on a class c is not that steep.
How many miles and was the rig being used or just put away?
My first rig was 1994 with 35,000 miles when I got it.
Tires looked good but on the second return trip from FL blown inside passenger
rear tire, at the time Sears installed six new tires.
Dropped the exhaust on one trip, blew the inner passenger front wheel bearing.
Did you know on 95 at the Wilson water tower there is nothing!
Limped down the side roads to the prior exit O"Rielys had everything I needed
and I had the tools to get the job done in the parking lot.
Another time blew the brake line to rear wheel cylinder. Hate to say it drove the
rest of the way to Fl were I rebuilt the whole rear axial brakes, lines, flex
hoses, seals etc.
So on something that old what do you think is going to break first and are you
prepared to address the problem?
Oh I also replaced the cooling unit in the refrigerator with an Artic Cool unit.
Ah the joys of owning a MH, if you are going to use it and are prepared
to fix it or have it fixed they can be a joy to own or the worst thing in the
WORLD!
Have fun and do not sweat the small things.
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Old 11-14-2019, 03:40 PM   #3
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Welcome...

We can write volumes for you, LOL

here is one set of info HERE

or here https://big.nyc3.cdn.digitaloceanspa...20190830092421
Read and check out your rig..

AS far as the motor, probably a 460, maybe carberated or FI.. they are pretty simple. IMO,,

I just got a 1196 Minnie winne 29.. 31K on it, Clean,,

I have had RV, so I tested the inside stuff, it had new batteries, but one connection was loose under the step..
Tire were 2 years old and like new.. date code were 3 years..

I got it home.. checked it all out, I pressure washed it, checked for leaks, spendt the weekend doing some prevent chaulking and roof seams etc..

On the motor side, I changed ALL Fluids.. oil sticker said 11oo miles or so but I did it all fresh..

I ended up with a clogged catylitic converter,, fixed exhaust and updated the raditor and clutch fan.. added a trans cooler since I tow..

I was ready to go, wife and I cleaned it out restocked the shelves and compartments, previous owner gave us a ton of stuff..

Please ask, lots of people here to help you..
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Old 11-14-2019, 04:26 PM   #4
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We have the 89 Tioga as well, it has been an interesting adventure for us for our first RV. Ours had the 460 FI engine with the C-6 3 speed tranny. When we bought ours it had 89,000 miles on it and the engine was strong but getting wore out. Our biggest issue is with what people call the hot start, the starter is on the passenger side with in inches of the exhaust header and that engine is a hot beast and if your starting battery is the least bit weak, it will not start the engine until the starter cools down unless the previous owner has installed a high torque starter. If it has the original starter in it or the original style type starter I would replace it. standing in front of the RV, the battery on the left is the chassis battery and the other battery is the house battery. The inverter system in this unit does not have a smart charger in it, when you are plugged into shore power it puts a full 14.5 V on the house battery, that isn't a big issue but if you leave it like that for more that a few days you will cook the battery so make sure you check the water level on a regular basis if you leave it hooked up for any length of time. Take a look at how the unit sits, those leaf springs in the back are weak and my unit sagged in back. I put Helwig helper springs on and raised the back end up enough to make it level front to back and side to side. I spent 5 years working on mine so I know it real well so if you have any specific questions I have probably already been there and done it so ask away. We now have a 2012 Jayco Greyhawk and love it. It has the V-10 engine in it and one slide out. Our Tioga is for sale now.
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Old 11-14-2019, 04:43 PM   #5
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Stored indoors all it's life is a 100%+++++++++

Just keep in-mind that it is highly probable that the caulk has cracked and shrunk in many places. So be sure to carefully inspect all seam work.....ALL seamwork.....ALL SEAM WORK....Did I emphasis that enough for you? You have a gem there, but one good rainy week will ruin the interior. Also be VERY mindful of each near-the-roof amber and red colored light. They love to leak in water, and strangely it can be a lot of water. The water loves to wick down the wires. So I would caulk around each one to be sure all are well sealed.

There have been many posts of people here saying they found water under the upper bed. That is disasterous so do ALL you can to prevent the same from happening to your like-new but very old rig.
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Old 11-14-2019, 06:49 PM   #6
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Thanks all!

I am planning to take a closer look at everything, this weekend. Hopefully there's no surprise issues.

CapeDave: The mileage is ~53k. Prepare for the worst; hope for the best, eh?

I appreciate the links to the manuals!

I found a thread indicating that the 1987 had underpowered brakes. Would anyone know if this is something I should be concerned about for the 89?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RBeau1954 View Post
The inverter system in this unit does not have a smart charger in it, when you are plugged into shore power it puts a full 14.5 V on the house battery, that isn't a big issue but if you leave it like that for more that a few days you will cook the battery so make sure you check the water level on a regular basis if you leave it hooked up for any length of time.
Is it possible to replace the converter to include smart charging?
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:41 PM   #7
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You can get a smart charger/converter ( non inverter) off amazon for 100 bucks or so..
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:50 PM   #8
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I never looked into upgrading the inverter system, there is nothing special about this inverter so I do not see why you couldn't upgrade it, if it's like mine it will be near the floor on the drivers side and easily accesible. I had plans to upgrade alot of things on it and had recently put a new engine in it, new tires, hellwig helper springs and firestone ride-rites.
We were on vacation in september when we spotted a Jayco Greyhawk on a lot and that is the model RV we had been looking at and decided to just look at it. They let us take it out for a few hours and we put it through the wringer trying everything out and knew what it was going to take to fix the few things that needed repair. Couldn't pass up the deal we got on it.

Your unit has a towing capacity of 3500 lbs. I have a tow dolly I use to tow our little beetle convertable, with it and the dolly it comes in at about 4000 lbs but the dolly has hydraulic brakes so does not put extra weight on the braking system. I have never felt there were issues with braking on my unit

When It comes to leaks, make sure you check the gasket under the a/c unit. If you spot any evidence of leaks over the bed it is most likely coming from that gasket.
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:58 PM   #9
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PS

A new Jasper rebuilt engine will set you back about $7500.00 and on an RV you will get an 18 month, unlimited mileage, nation wide warranty. When you start it up listen to the engine, those 460's are notorious for cracked head bolts and you will hear it when the engine is running. Unless the previous owner has insulated the dog house, it gets very hot, I insulated mine and it made a huge difference.

The a/c system on the chassis is R-12, very expensive to charge even if you can find it today, check to see if the previous owner upgraded to a more friendly refrigerant.

Good luck and ask questions if you have them, we are here to help.
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Old 11-15-2019, 05:31 AM   #10
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The Rt rear exhaust manifold bolt like to break.. the 460 is notorious for manifold leaks, the newer V10 are a little better.. If is is a virgin like you say, garaged and all,, you maybe be able to have the manifold easily done if they prove noisey..

The AC in the cab can be converted to R134, it is a DIY job or a shop can do it.. My shop gladly accepts R12 and will retro to R134, This way I off sell the R12 I recycle to the Antigue car guys who dont want conversions.. blah blah..

I failed to mention the brakes,,, If it sat a long time atleast change the front pads..
My Minnie with 31K had like new pads on it, BUT.. But it sat for 6-7 years in storage used for maybe 300 miles.. Onm y second trip out on a long down hill I lost the friction material of one front pad, Once it got heated the bonding glue let use becasue of age...

A set of $54 dollar pads that my inspection guy passed turned into a set of rotors also...and an emergency pad swap at the camground to get home.. that was another $41 and my time and my son driving 3 hours with tools to help..

Your unit is probably the Aluminum sides with a stud structure,, older but eaier to fix in the event of leaks or repairs, the laminated sides on the newer rigs ar sweet but when they get ugly it is a bit//h...

With a ford I always carry a spare igniiton modual and the socket wrench that fits it, located on firewall. They seem to crap out at 50 to 80K..or run forever... They are harder to find if you are broken on the road as most AZ or Advanced wont have one in a rural area.. I have a bag of stuff I carry, That is in it, plus , gorrilla tape, Spare Fan belts, A $69 set of cheap 125 piece tool set. 2 foot of heater hose with t splice kits and clamps. Vice grips in 2 sizes, small hammer, gator pliers, wire cuters and a roll of mechanics wire, jumper cables and a tow strap, 12vdc air pump and a tire plug kit... OK it is like 2 bags.. .
Even if you are not really a DIY guy these things can get you fixed up on the road at a rest area if a good neighbor or even a service guy shows..
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Old 11-15-2019, 07:41 AM   #11
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About Your Brakes

Your concern over your braking system. I don't know about inadequacy. Just make sure what you have is working it's best.

Your rear drum brakes likely need manual adjusting. Our 1st motorhome had rear drums. After I adjusted them fully, it was miraculous how much better the rig stopped. The adjustment is done without disassembly. Just set the real axle on stacks of lumber or jack stands, and adjust each drum through the slotted hole covered with a grommet.

Of coarse, a full brake system flush will also make a significant difference. Also lubricate your front brake caliper slides. They tend to hang up and drag the front brakes with age and corrosion.
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sibe View Post
With a ford I always carry a spare ignition module and the socket wrench that fits it, located on firewall.
I 100% agree.

I worked for Motorola AIEG (Automotive and Industrial Electronics Group) from 1977-1989. I was a member of the engineering team for Ford's second source of their electronic ignition ignition modules called TFI (Thick Film Ignition). It's a tiny rectangular gray (aftermarket is black) plastic box with a connector on the bottom and left side, and an aluminum base for heat sinking. They were usually mounted under the distributor cap with two tiny screws and thermal grease, but there were some remote-mounts (on fire walls and such) with an extra thick plate for mounting and heat sinking.

Buying a TFI does not cost much, and like stated above, they can fail, always without warning. When they do, the vehicle is dead. If the engine is hot when it dies, but the engine starts after it has cooled down, that is another sign it's the TFI.

I found a pic of what a TFI module looks like. This is located under the distributer cap.


Here is a remote-mounted version.
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:38 PM   #13
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good point with the spare ignition module, the 89 460 ignition module is on the distributor and as I said before this engine is a hot beast and I have had to replace that module twice. Look at it and see what tools you need to replace it, there are 2 very small screws that hold it in place but the only way to get to it is by loosening the distributor and turning it to get to the screws. Mark everything before you start. Last time I checked there was not an upgrade for the ignition control module to move it to the firewall but it may have changed now.
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Old 11-15-2019, 04:47 PM   #14
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If you are in Ohio, don't forget to winterize your plumbing.
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